Category: Consumerism

The Meat Industry and Ideas for What We Can Do About It

Some practical ideas about the meat industry Spacious chicken houses — a stark minority (Photo by David Ashwanden) In many countries, the state of the meat industry is fairly well publicised: poor conditions for animals (see for example 1, 2), strange and unnatural foods and medicines getting into our food chain (see for example 3; 4), unclear labelling (see for example 5), and mass industrialised butchery (see for example 6). […]

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Keystone PipeLIES Exposed

Keystone PipeLIES Exposed (Duration: 23 minutes) This film, produced by the Center for Media and Democracy, debunks the claims of proponents of the Keystone XL pipeline regarding jobs, energy security, gas prices, safety, and climate change. More information about this film and research project, "Keystone PipeLIES Exposed," at pipeliesexposed.org.

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The Pig Farmer

One day in Iowa I met a particular gentleman — and I use that term, gentleman, frankly, only because I am trying to be polite, for that is certainly not how I saw him at the time. He owned and ran what he called a “pork production facility.” I, on the other hand, would have called it a pig Auschwitz. The conditions were brutal. The pigs were confined in cages […]

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Loved to Death

By embracing their critics and colonising governments, corporations engineer a world of conformity and consumerism. How do you engineer a bland, depoliticised world, a consensus built around consumption and endless growth, a dreamworld of materialism and debt and atomisation, in which all relations can be prefixed with a dollar sign, in which we cease to fight for change? You delegate your powers to companies whose profits depend on this model.

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Loss Adjustment

When people say we should adapt to climate change, do they have any idea what that means? To understand what is happening to the living planet, the great conservationist Aldo Leopold remarked, is to live “in a world of wounds … An ecologist must either harden his shell and make believe that the consequences of science are none of his business, or he must be the doctor who sees the […]

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10 Ways to Prepare for a Post-Oil Society

The best way to feel hopeful for the future is to prepare for it. The best way to feel hopeful about our looming energy crisis is to get active now and prepare for living arrangements in a post-oil society. Out in the public arena, people frequently twang on me for being "Mister Gloom’n’doom," or for "not offering any solutions" to our looming energy crisis. So, for those of you who […]

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Call for Water, Not Gas (Australia)

Coal Seam Gas (‘fracking’) in the Pillaga Forest, NSW, Australia It was revealed last week that groundwater has been poisoned with uranium and heavy metals from Santos’s coal seam gas development in the Pilliga forest (Map). Just two days after the Environmental Protection Agency gave a paltry $1,500 fine for the contamination spill, the NSW Government signed a memorandum of understanding with Santos to fast-track approvals for a massive coal […]

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A “Special Period” in the Mid-Hudson Valley Feeds the New York Local Food Renaissance (USA)

Local squash, like the ones pictured here, are frozen and consumed through the winter by Farm to Table Co-Packers. The families in my bioregion, the mid-Hudson Valley of New York (90 miles north of New York city), have been coping well with increasing food prices and sourcing food supplies as we face peak oil. This runs counter to the popular image circulating online showing families and the food they consume […]

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Detox: How People Power is Cleaning Up Fashion

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZucclsuKaU Around the world a growing movement of people are using their creativity, design skills and purchasing power to demand fashion without pollution. United by a shared belief that the clothes we wear should carry a story we can be proud of, activists, bloggers, designers, scientists and models have been able to convince big brands including Zara, Mango, Valentino, UNIQLO and H&M to commit to toxic-free fashion. There is still […]

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Can the World Feed China?

by Lester R. Brown, Earth Policy Institute Slim, healthy, happy bovines promote a ‘hip’ new McDonald’s meat based diet to Chinese consumers from billboards across the country Overnight, China has become a leading world grain importer, set to buy a staggering 22 million tons in the 2013–14 trade year, according to the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture projections. As recently as 2006 — just eight years ago — China had […]

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Holmgren’s ‘Crash on Demand’: Be Careful What You Wish For

Originally published on TransitionNetwork.org It is a rare occurence that I disagree with David Holmgren. One of my heroes, and the co-founder of permaculture, I generally find his intellect formidable, his insights on permaculture revelatory, and his take on the wider patterns and scenarios unfolding around us to be deeply insightful. But while there is much insight in his most recent paper, Crash on Demand, it also raises many questions […]

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